Who has to pay for repairs caused by fallen trees?

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – It’s a story we hear a lot during the stormy summer season, a¬†neighbor’s tree falling on a home or other personal property.

It happened to a historic 250-year-old home on Longmeadow Street Wednesday. Sumner and Toner Insurance told 22News that a standard homeowner’s policy will cover it. But the question of who is held liable gets tricky.

If the property owner knew the tree was dead and neglected to do anything about it, then their insurance is responsible. If the tree was healthy and fell because of an act of nature, then it’s up to the insurance of the property owner who suffered the damage.

Jack Toner of Sumner & Toner Insurance Services tells homeowners who have dead trees on their property to always speak up.

“If it’s a dead tree, you don’t want it to fall on the house, let alone someone walking by.” Toner explained. “Send a letter, knock on the door. Just politely say ‘Hey, maybe we can split the cost.’ You can always negotiate with people.”

Maintain the trees on your own property, and you may want to send a certified letter to your neighbor if you see something concerning.

As for the home in Longmeadow, the damage comes after the owner made about $100,000 in renovations. The neighbor’s home where the tree was is up for sale.